Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Birthday Weekend, part 2

Sunday, before church, we got the children up and surprised Jack with a birthday balloon when he came down the stairs. Anna and Jack both got a "special" breakfast of doughnuts and chocolate milk. Yes we got them nice and wound up and then dropped them off at Sunday school! I bet their teachers loved us for that...

After Church we invited Erik's parents over for lunch. We had Jack's favorite meal, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and corn bread. When lunch was over and we had played for awhile we had birthday cupcakes. I had found a recipe for frog cupcakes that I thought looked pretty simple, so I tried making them. I'm not so sure they looked like frogs, but the cupcakes were still a hit!

After we ate cupcakes, the kids plus Erik went down for naps. When the children woke up we played outside for awhile and then had a picnic on the living room floor and watched Little Einsteins. I think this was the most exciting part of the day! Jack kept running up to me saying, "Thank you, mommy!" And Anna sat mesmerized on her blanket looking at me to make sure it really was ok to eat her peanut butter and jelly sandwich off the floor. At one point in the video one of the characters says, "Who gets balloons, cake, and presents?" And without missing a beat Anna exclaims, "Jack!" She said it in such a sweet way, though. Erik told her to hang in there, her birthday is just a few weeks away.

Jack's third birthday went really well. Erik and I really want to give our children a lot of special memories while they grow up, and hopefully we were able to do that last Sunday.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Birhday Weekend!

July is a pretty crazy birthday month for my family. I turned 25 on the 24th, and Jack turned 3 on the 25th. I can no longer say I have three kids two and under. We had such a nice weekend full of a lot of time spent together, memories being made, and one big surprise!

On Saturday, Erik and I were suppose to have a nice dinner out. At least that's what I thought. As the day went on, Erik kept saying his parents couldn't watch the kids until later than we had planned.  Erik finally told me he didn't feel like going out, and wanted to know if we could wait until next weekend to go out. He suggested going over to a town about 15 minutes from here instead.

I tried to be understanding, but I was really struggling with not getting upset with him. I did a lot of praying, asking for strength not to feel sorry for myself. When we dropped the kids off at my in laws, Erik told me he wasn't feeling very well, and asked if we could eat at a restaurant in town. Once again, I was a little disappointed, but figured if he really didn't feel well there wasn't anything I could do about it. After dinner, we ran to the grocery store to get some Pepto Bismol for his stomach, and decided to go home before we picked up the kids so he could rest awhile.

Imagine my surprise when I walked into my front room, and saw balloons and cupcakes everywhere! I heard Jack and Anna talking somewhere and I turned to Erik, who has a devilish grin on his face, and then a stream of my in laws and several close friends came out yelling, "Surprise!" Jack and Anna were bouncing off the walls, Jack kept blowing a horn and saying, "Happy Birthday, Mommy!"

Erik had never been sick, and was so excited he had actually been able to surprise me on my birthday. We had a nice time with everyone, and after everyone left Erik and I watched a movie before heading to bed. The next morning our little boy was turning three, so we needed to be well rested!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jack!

How did this little baby go from this..

To this...

In what feels hour?

Three years old. I can't believe it. I know I'm going to feel like I blinked, and he's going to be all grown up. I won't hold him back, I don't want to stand in the way of what God has planned for him. I know that as he grows up I need to be who he needs me to be, not the other way around.

I'm going to enjoy this time. This time when he's little, and everything is new. Where he's happiest being at home running around with Anna. Where a snuggle from mommy and his stuffed frog is all he needs to feel better again. When he has almost no concept of being shy, and goes up to every one he meets and says, "Hello there. How are you ?"

I pray that Christ will reveal Himself to Jack. I pray he won't try to conform, but be a leader for Jesus one day.

As difficult as I sometimes think it is to have a three year old, I know it's probably going to get a lot tougher as he grows up. One day I'm going to look back on these years as "the good old days" :-)

Happy Birthday, Bubby! I love you so much, and I praise God every day for you!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Of Worry

It happened again today. I was going about my day, when I was suddenly overwhelmed with some of the difficult circumstances going on in my life.

I wanted to get angry. I wanted to run away. Or at the very least zone out in front of the television.

Then I remembered. Praise God, I remembered.

"Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread will give him a stone?..If you then who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in Heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Matt. 7:9-11

"...and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 b

A familiar Peace filled my heart. This isn't the first time I've dealt with the sin of worry. I've not always responded to it in the correct way. But today, by the grace of God, I was able to focus on God's promises.

I was blessed to be at Sunday night church(a rarity), and part of the message was about taking God at His Word. There is nothing that needs to be added to it, there is nothing to be taken from it, Praise God we can cling to the promises in His Word, and know that God will fulfill His promises. There is nothing outside of His control. Even when it feels like God's giving me a stone and not bread, I have to trust that God knows what's best for me. Just like I would never give my children something dangerous, God knows far better than me what is for my own good.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jack's Birth Story

In honor of Jack's upcoming birthday I decided to write his birth story. If you are interested you can read Lily's here. I will hopefully have Anna's up in the next month(which is quite the story!)

Around the time of our first wedding anniversary, Erik and I found out we were pregnant. To say we were excited is a huge understatement. We were thrilled at the thought of becoming parents, and could not wait for August to get here. We did all the typical new pregnant things. Erik would get me ice cream at ten o clock because the baby wanted it, and we would stress about remembering to take prenatal vitamins, and wonder if the cramps I was having were "normal". I would worry that maybe I wasn't sick enough. I worried a lot, so much in fact that Erik banned me from google until after my first trimester! I was, and still am, a walking encyclopedia of the book What to Expect When your Expecting. We were so excited about having our baby that we made some rash decisions, like me quitting my job within the first month of being pregnant so I could rest more and prepare to be a stay at home mom. At the time this wasn't that big of a deal because Erik had a good job and worked crazy shifts so we were able to spend a lot more time together.

The pregnancy was going really well. Until I had to take the glucose tolerance test. To my dismay I had Gestational Diabetes. I didn't need insulin(Jack was my only pregnancy I didn't need that), but our plans were now altered. Instead of getting to wait for the baby to come naturally I was going to have to be induced as soon as "the baby" was mature enough to be delivered.

On July 24(my birthday), Erik and I got up and drove to my doctor's office. We had been told the week before that the odds were very good that July 25 was the day we were going to have our baby, but we were going to have to come in for one last check the day before to know for sure. I didn't sleep at all that night! I just stayed up and prayed, and thought about how different our lives were about to become. We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl( a Jack or an Anna), and I kept trying to picture myself with a little boy or a little girl.

My doctor informed us that everything looked good with our baby, and we were to come back over to the hospital that evening. Talk about a romantic birthday getaway!

Everyone was so excited for us. Most of our family and close friends were planning on being there, waiting in the waiting room to support us. My mom and dad came down on the afternoon of my birthday and took us out to dinner at the Olive Garden. After we were done, Erik and I set off to the hospital and my parents met up with us later. They were staying in a hotel across the street from the hospital so they could be there at the drop of a hat.

In typical new mom fashion, I was offered a sleeping pill from one of the nurses, but refused to take it(I have since taken it with Anna and Lily), and once again couldn't sleep. Around One o'clock, just as I was drifting off, my water broke! I woke Erik up, who was asleep on the couch next to me, and we called for a nurse. At first the nurse didn't think my water had actually broken, but after a quick check she realized it really had! Since they hadn't started the pitocin yet, and I was two weeks early this came as a surprise. By four I was in active labor. Since, I had known from 27 weeks that I would be induced and be getting the epidural, I was not prepared  for the intensity of labor. Erik was doing his best to rub my back and encourage me, and trying to get the anestigiologist in our room. They gave me something to take the edge off, but at the time I didn't think it helped too much(it just made me really dopey!)

By the time I received my epidural, my parents, Erik's mom, aunt and uncle, 3 of my closest friends, Erik's best friend(who is one of my close friend's wife!) and their daughter were at the hospital. Unfortunately I don't have much memory of what happened before it was time to start pushing, the medicine I was given at the beginning of labor made me really loopy.

By noon, I was pushing. I remember thinking Erik and the nurse were being so nice to me, and I wasn't even doing anything(ha!). About an hour later, we saw the head and within a minute we met our precious little boy for the first time. Jack was 6 pounds and 9 ounces, and 19 inches.                   

The moment we met him, was perhaps one of the sweetest moments Erik and I have ever shared. Before the nurses and doctor left they asked if we wanted a little bit to be alone with our son, to which we replied, "yes!" And even though I was still pretty loopy, I was bawling when Erik handed Jack to me. The minute he was placed in my arms, Jack immediately started rooting. I was taken a bit off guard. I couldn't believe this tiny person who wasn't even an hour old, knew who his mommy was!

After awhile our family and friends came in. They had wrapped Jack up in white blankets and put a yellow hat on him, so no one would know until Erik announced if we'd had a boy or a girl. Jack was introduced, my mom and mother in law were in tears, and everyone got a turn to hold our sweet baby boy.

The days and weeks after Jack came home, were insane. People were at our house around the clock wanting to congratulate us. Jack was unbelievably laid back and an excellent sleeper. Jack's birth was by far my easiest, but his was the most difficult to recover from.

I still look back on Jack's pregnancy and birth with sweet fondness. It was such a special time in my life, and Erik and I are humbled to have been blessed with him.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Please Read with a French Accent

I'm not sure why, but ever since Anna has started talking, she says things with an almost french accent.

It is hilarious, people.

We first noticed it when Lily was born and she was starting to say clear words. Everything that had to do with her new sister came out sounding like,"Zee Beebee." We thought it was funny, but it wasn't until she started adding other words that we really started getting a kick out of this.

Now everything is, "Da Papa!" "Da, Mama!"

And, for all you Little Rascals fans out there, she also says, "Otay" in a french accent.

I'm not sure how it happened. I'm pretty sure she won't always have this accent. But it has become one of our favorite inside family jokes. Jack even gets in on the fun and starts saying in his best french accent, "Zee Bebee!" And we just crack up. Even Lily thinks it's hilarious.

So if you ever happen to walk by, and hear a crazy family speaking in horrible french accents, please know that we are simply enjoying our little girl.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Being a Selfish Servant?

Being a selfish servant is something I have been thinking a lot about here lately. Why, you may be asking? Because I have become all too aware that I am a very selfish person, but since I'm a wife and especially since I'm a mommy to little ones, I am a servant.

I remember about two months before Erik and I got married I was reading the book, Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney, and one of the topics discussed was how as wives we are suppose to show a phileo kind of love to our husbands and children. In fact there is not a single place in the Bible that commands wives to have agape love for their husbands or children. For men it's the opposite, they are always commanded to have agape (a sacrificial love) for their wives, but women are always commanded to have a phileo love (friendly affection.) The book describes women as being perfectly capable of making dinner, cleaning up after their families, and doing projects with our children, but the whole time failing to enjoy it. In fact to put it more bluntly, we almost become resentful of our God given tasks, but on the outside no one can tell since we are still serving our families. When I read that as a young naive bride to be, I didn't understand. My heart's desire back then was always to be a godly wife to my husband, and hopefully one day have children to raise and train. I couldn't imagine a better life, that I failed to realize that because I am sinner, I am not immune to any of the struggles facing women, and most certainly I am not immune to facing the struggles that women have been facing since the fall!

In the last year I've encountered two different reactions to people who see me out with my three children, they either comment on how crazy my husband and I are, or they shake their head and respectfully say, "I don't know how you do it." These people probably assume that I have no time for myself. But let me tell you, I'm stubborn. If I have to stay up later than everyone else to have a little time to myself I will do it. Even if it means the next morning I won't be able to serve my family as well as if I had gone to bed at a reasonable hour. When my kids want to play with play doh or color pictures, I'm not always thrilled to be spending time with them, especially when I feel like there's laundry to do, dishes to clean, and floors to be mopped.

It is only by relying on God that I can do anything. Even things that don't seem like they are that big of a deal, like reading Brown Bear Brown Bear for the thousandth time. Sure I've always tried to rely on God during bigger challenges in my life, but it's only been recently when I've realized that regardless of what I'm doing whether it be getting up with the teething baby or mopping the bathroom floor or simply sitting and enjoying my children, as odd as it might sound, it is only by God's Grace that I am able to do any of it with proper motives.

Friday, July 9, 2010

5 months

Lily Faith turned five months old yesterday! Time sure is flying, and before I know she won't be a little baby anymore(*sniffle*). Lily is one of the sweetest baby's I've been around, in fact I can only think of two others who were as sweet as her(hmm wonder who they are?!) But seriously, Lily is a very happy and content little lady. She's not usually too fussy(so long as she's on her routine) and most of the time is all smiles and squeals.

Anna and Jack really love her. Anna likes to "hold" her, and they both think its fun to bring her toys. Just this morning when I was getting ready to lay her down, Anna came up to me and started asking to kiss Lily. Well that started Jack wanting to give Lily kisses, so for about ten minutes they were cracking up about kissing her. And Lily most definitely enjoyed the attention she got from her bubby and sissy.

She rolls really well now, and she reaches for objects. It cracks me up when she starts to reach for a toy she gets this look of serious concentration. She is still nursing exclusively, and not quite sleeping through the night, but I think she would be if I could get the courage to move her to Jack and Anna's room. She did sleep through the night in Florida, but she also rarely was able to take a nap down there! She has sat up for a little bit by holding herself up with her hand, and she gets a big kick out of standing.

Anyway just for fun and out of my curiosity who do you think Lily looks more like? That's Jack at the top and Anna at the bottom.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pictures from the Weekend

Sweet Lily fresh from a long nap...

Erik decided to surprise Anna with some new shoes yesterday. She loves shoes(she is definitely my daughter!), and hasn't wanted to take them off.

A rocket, play doh, and bubbles...that's Jack's perfect day!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A fun day At Home

A couple of weeks ago, on one of those miserably hot and humid days, we got a hankering to make some cookies. It was a fun way to spend the morning, and I was able to teach a little math and letter writing to my two year old.

 Jack and Anna enjoying their egg beater. I'm not sure why Anna has that look on her face, but if memory serves correctly I'm pretty sure Jack tried to take her egg beater.

There's a much better face! Since Anna isn't quite two, the way I have her "help" is by giving her a metal spoon and measuring cup. I just put an apron on her and have her sit on a chair so she can see what's going on(if she wants, it's no big deal if she'd rather run around the kitchen) and she seems to have a blast.

Sorry this is a little blurry. Jack takes his job of dumping ingredients into the bowl very seriously, and loves to hold the mixer. We talk about measuring, and count how many scoops we put in the mixing bowl. 

We decided to make a glaze and initial some cookies just for fun. And yes there is an "M" cookie for mommy! I'm pretty sure most of the cookies had D's on them for Daddy, though...

It was a fun morning, even if it did take almost three hours to make cookies. Sorry there isn't any pictures of Lily on here, she was napping during most of the baking and the ones I did take of her that morning were really blurry. 

What activities do you guys do with your children(or grandchildren) to keep them entertained?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Vacation Tid Bits

A couple of weeks ago my sweet mom and dad invited all of us to go down to Florida with them. At first we weren't sure we could take them up on their offer, but eventually the allure of the beach got the better of us, and we gratefully agreed to go. I've tried writing about this trip several times already, but writing about the first day alone was as long as a normal post! So, since I'm sure I'm the only one who would want to read the long winded version of my trip, I have it tucked away in my drafts, and in the meantime I thought I'd share some highlights from our vacation this past week.

1. Our van broke down about halfway to Florida. We had taken a lunch break in Alabama, and when we loaded back up our air conditioning wasn't working. We didn't figure it was that big of a deal, but by the time we got to Pensacola our van was smoking. Erik and his dad assesed the problem over the phone, and while I won't pretend to know anything about cars, I heard the words "shred" and "engine" in the same sentence, never a good sign. Erik and I were so upset that first night, I don't think either of us slept that whole night. We just prayed for God to take care of the situation. The next morning when Erik started calling repair shops, things did not look too promising. The price to fix our van was outrageous, and to top it off no one was going to be able to get it fixed for another week. Amazingly enough, my dad knew someone in Pensacola who owned a car repair shop. He was able to get us in that day, and had it fixed by noon the next day. While it was still very expensive, it was much cheaper than we had originally been told.

2. The same day our van broke down, we saw on the news that the beaches were now closed because of the oil spill. However the next day we found a bay in Pensacola that was still open, and shuttled people back and forth from the hotel to the beach. Since we knew Jack would probably be scared, he stayed behind with my mom and I while Erik and Dad took Anna and Lily. Anna loved the water, and in no time at all was becoming a bit too daring!

3. By Friday our van was fixed, and my parents had to head over to Navarre. Originally, the five of us were just going to hang out in Pensacola, but my mom and dad generously offered to put us up in the hotel they were staying at. This hotel just happened to be a five minute drive away from the beach, and this beach was still open! With the stress over our van done,we were finally able to relax and enjoy ourselves. The kids loved the ocean. Well, Jack loved playing in the sand and having his feet splashed by waves. Dad, Erik, and I took turns taking Anna out in the water, and she laughed harder than I had ever heard her laugh out there. My sweet Mom stayed up on shore with Lily and kept any eye on Jack. Poor Lily got used to sleeping under a beach umbrella, lathered in sunscreen, with a hat protecting her from the sun.

4. Even though I'm glad to be home with my kids in their own rooms again, I really loved waking up in the mornings and snuggling in bed watching cartoons with them. The kids did awesome sleeping, and didn't even wake up when Lily got up for her middle of the night feeding.

5. Taking a walk on a Pier is a very romantic date!

6. While I was taking a shower, and thought everyone else was still asleep one morning, Anna somehow got ahold of Pepto Bismol. Unfortunately, the cap must not have been on securely(at least I hope she hasn't figured out child proof caps!) and finger painted her bed with bright pink pepto bismol. Her blankets are still stained bright pink.

7. We made it home safe, and our van hasn't given us any more trouble. Jack is still talking about the beach, and we all have tans(I'll use that term loosely for myself and Anna who unfortunately inherited my easily burnt complexion.) Thanks for a great vacation, Mom and Dad!

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